Tuesday, 29 July 2014, 4:46 pm

Flower power for Valentine's Day

Joanna Dowbiggin, a Greenhouse technician, demonstrates for students. PHOTO BY CATHY McCABEBy CATHY McCABE
Staff Writer
Horticulture students are making creative gifts for St. Valentine’s Day.
January start students in the Horticultural Technician, Greenhouse Technician and Landscape Technician programs learned how to make dish gardens in a workshop on Feb. 11.
Teri Sherwood, horticulture technician at Niagara College, was the guest lecturer in Jay Thatcher’s horticulture practices class at the teaching greenhouse at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.
She says, “A dish garden is a mixture of plant materials in a container, so it’s like a little mini gardens.” She says they are not cut flowers, but they are plants with roots.
Sherwood says the dish gardens made by the students will be sold at the Niagara College Greenhouse.
The plants used include pilea, schefflera, fern albolionata, croton, dracaena, polka dot, kalanchoe and English ivy.
In her lecture to the class, Sherwood says people come to the greenhouse specifically to buy their creations. “Each one is individual just like our students.”
Sherwood says the dish garden project is done twice a year; they are made for Valentine’s Day and the September start students make them for Christmas.
Steve Goodchild, a Horticultural Technician student, says horticulture practices is his favourite class. “This is like gym class. You want to come here.” He says he used banana plants, mixed polka dot plants and kalanchoe in his dish garden.
Mansly Chau says she also enjoys the class. “This is one of the best for the whole program.” She is using a polka dot plant, schefflera and ivy in her dish garden.
Greenhouse Technician student Joanna Dowbiggin says she likes the class because “we get to do more hands-on stuff.” She used kalanchoe, ivy and a polka dot plant.
The greenhouse at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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